Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences

7 June - 11 August 2012
Victoria Miro Gallery II

Information

Download:

Victoria Miro is delighted to announce its fourth solo exhibition with Grayson Perry.

In The Vanity of Small Differences Grayson Perry explores his fascination with taste and the visual story it tells of our interior lives in a series of six tapestries at Victoria Miro and three programmes, All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, for Channel 4.  The artist goes on a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain, to gather inspiration for his artworks, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative partly inspired by Hogarth's A Rake's Progress.

Grayson Perry comments: "The tapestries tell the story of class mobility, for I think nothing has as strong an influence on our aesthetic taste as the social class in which we grow up. I am interested in the politics of consumerism and the history of popular design but for this project I focus on the emotional investment we make in the things we choose to live with, wear, eat, read or drive. Class and taste run deep in our character - we care. This emotional charge is what draws me to a subject".

Perry has always worked with traditional media; ceramics, cast iron, bronze, printmaking and tapestry.  He is interested in how each historic category of object accrues over time intellectual and emotional baggage. Tapestry is the art form of grand houses: depicting classical myths, historical and religious scenes and epic battles. In this series of works Perry plays with idea of using this ancient allegorical art to elevate the commonplace dramas of modern British life.

The artist's primary inspiration was A Rake's Progress  (1732 -33) by William Hogarth, which in eight paintings tells the story of Tom Rakewell, a young man who inherits a fortune from his miserly father, spends it all on fashionable pursuits and gambling, marries for money, gambles away a second fortune, goes to debtors' prison and dies in a madhouse.

The Vanity of Small Differences tells the story of the rise and demise of Tim Rakewell and is composed of characters, incidents and objects Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds. Hogarth has long been an influence on Perry's works, his Englishness, his robust humour and his depiction of, in his own words, 'modern moral subjects'. The secondary influence comes from Perry's favourite form of art, early Renaissance painting.

Each of the six images, to a greater or lesser extent, pays homage to a religious work.  Including Masaccio's Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Matthias Grünewald's Isenheim Altarpiece, Rogier Van de Weyden's Lamentation and three different paintings of The Annunciation by Carlo Crivelli,  Grünewald and Robert Campin.  The images also reference the pictorial display of wealth and status in The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck and Mr & Mrs Andrews by Thomas Gainsborough.  Woven into each tapestry are snatches of text, each one in the voice of a participant in the scene illustrated. Each image also features a small dog, reminiscent of Hogarth's beloved pug, Trump.

Channel 4's three-part series, All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry was shown in June 2012.

Victoria Miro

16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
t: 44 (0)20 7336 8109

info@victoria-miro.com

View map

Victoria Miro Mayfair

14 St George Street

London W1S 1FE

t: 44 (0)20 3205 8910

info@victoria-miro.com
View map

Opening Times

Tuesday - Saturday: 10.00am - 6.00pm 

Monday: By appointment

 

We are also closed on Sundays, bank holiday weekends and public holidays.

Enquiries

All general enquiries should be sent to  
info@victoria-miro.com

Victoria Miro does not accept unsolicited artist applications.

Subscribe

Staff contact details

Directors

Victoria Miro
Glenn Scott Wright
W.P. Miro
Alexandra Sara
PA to the Directors
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0903

Sales

Director of Sales - Head of Department
Direct line: 44 20 7549 0494
Elke Seebauer
Director of Sales (Currently on maternity leave)
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0426
Oliver Miro
Associate Sales Director
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0496
Fabian Lang
Associate Sales Director
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0499
Anna Fisher
Associate Sales Director
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0905
Mary Eleanor McNicholas
Sales Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0498

Exhibitions

Erin Manns
Director of Exhibitions - Head of Department
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0423
Rachel Taylor
Director of Exhibitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0431
Clare Morris
Artist Liaison - Exhibitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7234 0913
Catherine Turner
Exhibitions Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Isabelle Young
Exhibitions Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0431

Communications

Kathy Stephenson
Director of Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0422
Martin Coomer
Head of Editorial and Digital Content
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0915
Marisa J. Futernick
Marketing and PR Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0491
Emily Summerscale
Marketing and Events Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0912
Anja Ziegler
Archivist
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0428

Operations

Robert Holzberger
Director of Operations and Events
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0495
Emma Mee
Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0487
Ellie Nearchou
Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0433
Clare Rowe
Associate Registrar and Archivist
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0493
Louis Blanc-Francard
Front of House Coordinator (Wharf Road)
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Philip Ewe
Front of House Coordinator (Wharf Road)
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Vix Moore
Gallery Coordinator (Mayfair)
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3205 8910

Technical Services

Mary Taylor
Production Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0424
David Wood
Technical Operations and Buildings Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0424
Jack Fenton
Buildings Coordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0914
Jon Glazier
Head Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0425
Rob Phillips
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492
Sam Nias
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492
Ross Taylor
Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492